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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Rose Erickson and her mentors, Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara

Wednesday, 29 January 2020  |  Posted by Rochelle Karina


Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 5, 2020, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2019 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Rose Erickson – Mentee



Kristen Lepionka – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Ernie Chiara – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Kristen & Ernie, why did you choose Rose?

Rose’s submission had an irresistible hook! We couldn’t help but request the first 100 pages…then the full manuscript…and the excitement never wore off.

Rose, why did you choose to submit to Kristen & Ernie?

I chose to submit to Kristen and Ernie because they both seemed quirky and fun and asked for twisted plots. My book is about a killer who turns girls into dolls—maybe as twisted as it gets haha. Besides that, their experience and knowledge is something I can definitely learn from.

Kristen & Ernie, summarize Rose’s book in 3 words.

Kristen: Compelling, hook-y creepshow

Ernie: Twisty, creep-tastic spine-chiller

Rose, summarize your book in 3 words.

Spy-cam. Murder. Lies.

Kristen & Ernie, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Kristen: I’m the author of the Roxane Weary mystery series (Minotaur Books) and I am currently working on a standalone mystery. None of my main characters have ever had cats, which is weird because I am obsessed with my cats and probably 40% of my daily thoughts are about them.

Ernie: I am not the author of the Roxane Weary mystery series (Minotaur Books), though, oddly enough, I am also currently working on a standalone mystery. I have never owned a cat, and probably 40% of my daily thoughts are about what I might want to eat later.

Rose, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I am hoping to elevate my book and my knowledge of the writing industry. I’m loving the community already— so making like-minded friends in the process would definitely be a bonus!

Rose, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’m a mom and work in the healthcare field. I’m under 5 foot and look extremely innocent. No one expects a sweet, nurturing, little girl like me to write such twisted books. It’s not my fault—I blame growing up on Stephen King, Christopher Pike and RL Stine books!

A big chunk of my book takes place in the underground tunnels and buildings of Old Seattle. I went on a ghost tour of Seattle’s underground this summer. Our guide told the creepiest stories about the condemned tunnels and how they were used as speakeasies and brothels. The muggy, dark passageways practically begged me to write a story about them… or maybe that was the ghosts…

Check out Kristen’s upcoming release, ONCE YOU GO THIS FAR.

Coming July 7, 2020

Shamus-Award-winning author Kristen Lepionka plunges back into danger in her next exciting mystery featuring PI Roxane Weary.

Junior-high school nurse Rebecca Newsome was an experienced hiker, until she plummeted to her death to the bottom of a ravine in a Columbus metro park. Her daughter, Maggie, doesn’t believe it was an accident, and Rebecca’s ex-husband is her prime suspect. But he’s a well-connected ex-cop and Maggie is certain that’s the reason no one will listen to her. Roxane quickly uncovers that the dead woman’s ex is definitely a jerk, but is he a murderer?

As she pieces together the days before Rebecca died, Roxane finds a series of trips to Detroit and across the border into Windsor, Canada, major withdrawals from her checking account, and more contacts with a casino manager than a middle-aged school nurse from Toledo should reasonably have. When the investigation leads to Leila Hassan, the cunning con artist who got away in What You Want to See, Roxane is determined not to make the same mistake twice by falling for Leila’s lies―except she might actually be telling the truth this time. Roxane needs to figure out the connection between Leila, a secretive church group, a women’s health organization, and Rebecca’s fall in the woods…before a dangerous secret gets someone else killed.

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 5 – 10, 2020, and our next Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad is March 5, 2020! Want to know more about #PitMad? Go here


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